Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Wednesday the province is investing more than $ 115 million to support more than 800 patients with high and complex care needs.
The funding will allow these 850 patients to access services from the comfort of their homes, while expanding virtual care options for patients across Ontario.
This funding is part of the province’s fall COVID-19 preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, which will allow the province to respond to future surges and waves of the virus, while preserving the capacity of hospitals.
“With today’s modern medical advancements and technology, and with the help of our dedicated nurses and personal support workers, we are ready to provide quality patient care in their homes and communities.” Ford said.
“This type of care is not only essential to keeping patients safe and healthy during COVID-19, but also as part of our government’s continued commitment to end hallway health care and to ensure that our hospitals are not overwhelmed.
The new High Intensity Home Support Program helps patients with high care needs move from a hospital to their home or community setting with the right supports, also known as patients with an alternate level of care. care (ANS).
This program provides integrated team care where multiple types of services are integrated around the patient. This can include up to 11 hours per day of personal support and nursing services per patient. Other community services may include home meals, housekeeping, and transportation to medical appointments.
“We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution for health care; when the first wave of COVID-19 hit and we had to temporarily shut down in-person counseling, we expanded virtual mental health supports, ”said Ford.
“When hospitals asked for help to cope with the pressure they face with ICUs, we worked diligently with our home and community care partners to find ways to continue providing care. quality to patients outside their hospitals.
With today’s investment, the province will increase hospital capacity, provide approximately 484,000 nursing and therapy visits, and approximately 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
“Our government is making it easier and faster for patients to access high quality home care,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“Connecting patients to the care they need, when and where they need it, will help keep Ontarians healthy and avoid unnecessary hospital visits and stays. This program will help ensure that Ontario hospitals have the capacity to treat those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ”
As part of Ontario’s continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak and in line with the Digital First for Health Strategy, Ontario is investing $ 14.5 million to support the expansion of virtual care for Ontario Health Teams and frontline home and community care providers.
An investment of $ 9.5 million will be dedicated to remote patient monitoring programs offered by various health care organizations, including Ontario Health Team member organizations such as hospitals. This will support remote patient care, home monitoring and symptom management to support patients with COVID-19 and other vulnerable populations.
As part of this funding, $ 5 million will be invested in virtual home and community care capacity by providing funding directly to frontline home and community care service providers. This investment will help purchase video conferencing, remote monitoring and secure messaging technologies that will allow the continued delivery of home care, minimizing in-person visits, if any, and keeping clients and families out of the way. ‘hospital.
These investments will provide more choice in how patients receive care and make healthcare simpler, easier and more convenient, while allowing patients to continue to access the mainstream healthcare services they need. throughout the pandemic.